La La Land

Warning: don’t listen to this playlist while driving

If you’re here about the movie, you can still pretend you forgot something outside and turn around. Or you can stay and sing along.

La-la-las, ooh-aaahs and other woh-oh-ohs are amazing.

They let me sing along despite my total lack of memory for lyrics and vocal rhythm. They let songwriters that don’t have the best words get away with it. In live show, they turn the spotlight for a few seconds towards keyboardists and other triangle players. They work really well in stadiums and with high-alcohol levels. And they look totally silly on text transcripts of TV shows using them as soundtracks.

According to Wikipedia (in an article that manages to mention Scatman John twice), the technical term is “Non-lexical vocables”. It doesn’t have a nice ring to it, so we’ll stick to la-la-las.

According to my music library, I really like la-la-las. So I just made a playlist of some of my favorite ones:

The New Pornographers — The Bleeding Heart Show

Hey La, Hey La

Loney, Dear — Ignorant Boy, Beautiful Girl

Ma Na Na Na Na

The Rural Alberta Advantage — Frank, AB

Wooh Oooh Oooh Ooooooooh

The Shins — Australia

La La La La

Austra — Lose It

Transcript unavailable.

The Hold Steady — Stay Positive

Stay Positive. Woh Oh Oh Oh.

If you don’t scream this one out loud while driving, you might want to check your pulse.

The New Pornographers — Unguided

In this episode of Song Exploder, Carl Newman explained that he is very explicit about his non-lexical vocables. The second half of this song might be his thesaurus.

Le Loup — Le Loup (Fear Not)

Word of the day: [Glossolalia] (a word I was taught by this amazing song, that did not fit the mood of the playlist)

Fleet Foxes — Mykonos

Is sing-alongible a word?

I’m From Barcelona — Violins

How do they come up with this stuff?

The Rakes — Open Book

Ooh Ooh Ooh.

The Libertines — What Katie Did

Shoop shoop, shoop de-lang-a-lang
(This one earns its place in the song transcript).

Blur — For Tomorrow

La La Las and Brit Pop were a perfect match.

Yo La Tengo — You Can Have It All

Po Pom Pom Pom.
(This is also a very convenient device against my lack of inspiration)

Simon & Garfunkel — Mrs. Robinson

You didn’t think you were going to escape this one?

The Beatles — Hey Jude

Or this one?

Cut Copy — Out There on the Ice

Solfège would have been funnier this way with stuff like this.

Japandroids — The House That Heaven Built

Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh

(“Where everything evil disappears and dies” would make a great subtitle for this playlist)

Arcade Fire — Rebellion (Lies)

Fact: This is even better with 10,000 people singing.